Sucrose Hydrolysis for Chem IA

Acid Catalysed Hydrolysis of Sucrose for Chem IA can have a Probable Research Question: What is the effect of temperature on the rate of acid-catalyzed hydrolysis of sucrose and how does it influence change in angle of rotation as measured by a polarimeter?

Sucrose, also known as table sugar, is a disaccharide that is widely used in the food industry. The hydrolysis process involves breaking down this sugar into its two monosaccharides – glucose and fructose – through the action of acid catalysts. Temperature plays an important role in this reaction rate; generally, higher temperatures result in more energy being available to overcome the activation energy barrier and accelerate the reaction. The angle of rotation observed when light passes through a solution can be used to gauge concentration levels and measure changes over time, allowing us to accurately determine reaction rates with a polarimeter.


  • Temperature (independent variable)
  • Rate of acid-catalyzed hydrolysis of sucrose (dependent variable)
  • Angle of rotation as measured by a polarimeter (dependent variable)

Materials Required:

  • Sucrose solution
  • Hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid
  • Polarimeter
  • Hot plate or water bath
  • Thermometer
  • Graduated cylinder or burette
  • Test tubes
  • Magnetic stirrer
  • Stop watch

Method: Write your method or research the method. You need not to copy the following content.

  1. Prepare a solution of 100 mL of sucrose and 5 mL of 1 M HCl. Mix them thoroughly.
  2. Place the solution in a test tube and measure its initial angle of rotation using the polarimeter. Record the result.
  3. Place the test tube on a hot plate. You should set the temperature to 25°C or any other temperature as you decide.
  4. Attach a magnetic stirrer to the test tube.
  5. Start the stopwatch and start stirring the solution.
  6. Measure and record the angle of rotation every 2 minutes for a total of 10 minutes or what ever you have decided for the experiment.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 for temperatures of 30°C, 35°C, 40°C, and 45°C or as per your scheme of experiment.
  8. Plot the data collected from each temperature on a graph. Remember to keep the angle of rotation on the y-axis and time on the x-axis. Do you know why?
  9. Analyse your findings and proceed further.

Follow the IB DP Chemistry IA Templet.

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